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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been hoping the problem would take care of itself but it hasn't. My CO2 (via paintball CO2) stays on 24/7 and my drop checker stays emerald green when the lights are on and only get a very slight bit yellow-green by morning. I dose EI in this 20g long tank. My light fixture is a 2x24W 24" T5-HO light fixture that is (rough estimate) 16" from the top of the tank. The algae is only growing on my rocks but not my fissidens or my HC....what could be the problem? I feed my fish /very/ sparingly (tank stock is currently 5 otos, 5 espei rasboras, 9 pygmy corys, 4 amano shimp and 7 or 8 fire red cherry shrimp) twice a day. My photoperiod is 9 hours. Any idea how to remedy this before I have to break out the H202 or excel? I'd really prefer to do this a more natural way first as to not stress what few shrimp I have left. :help:
 

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I'm with green but the one common denominator that I have seen with various types of algae growth is light. You are rocking 48 watts of HO light above a 20 gallon long. The fact that you have that much light with only 12" of water depth could speak to the algae problem. Try either turning one of your lights off or greatly reducing your photo period.

I'm really surprised that you aren't seeing any GSA also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I have some GSA as well, but it's not major. My otos love it. I scrape it off every now and then with a razor. The weird thing is that I was taking a look at the light charts and it should be fine since it's higher up to compensate for the shallow water. I could try changing the photoperiod...would that interfere with my HC growing too much?
 

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Best way to beat it the natural way is to hit it from all sides. Don't try to guess 'exactly' what is causing it. BBA can grow in the dimmest of tanks, but there is a relation to higher light and it's growth in many situations.

Problem with many of those 2x24 T5HO is that there is only one switch and both lights being on for the full duration creates problems for many. Ideally you probably only need all the lights on for a couple of hours and you'd be in a better place.

When I say hit it from all sides, shorten your light duration, change your water more, feed less, stock less and make sure your fertilizing enough to get healthy growth. If you can add some Amanos they will work through the BBA in the long-run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have amanos, but they poke the BBA and walk away from it it seems, lol. I can only change water once a week because I do EI....and that coincides with the proper fert dosing. Photoperiod will be dropped to 8 hours. Any other thoughts?
 

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The three things I've done that have gotten rid of my BBA are

1. Make sure that my Phosphate is between 1 and 2 ppm
2. Make sure my Nitrate is between 10 and 20 ppm
3. I keep my drop checker light green, almost towards yellow.
 

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I have amanos, but they poke the BBA and walk away from it it seems, lol. I can only change water once a week because I do EI....and that coincides with the proper fert dosing. Photoperiod will be dropped to 8 hours. Any other thoughts?

Yes, they graze on them. They don't actually eat them. I would think it would be hard for them to eat them since even for a person it is hard to pull BBA off from a leaf. I have 24 Amanos. My BBA aren't getting any less.
 

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Wwjd?

:mad:



I went on holiday's for 3 weeks. The person looking after the tank is in experienced so I disabled CO2 injection, stopped dosing ferts. Just had the person feed my shrimp and 9 rasbora's and occasional change out a small amount of water. I come back and I see this. 'DOH! It's been months and I can't get rid of it :(

Same sort of situation as OP. HC not growing, but algae is flourishing on all the tips of my ferns, windelov, anubias etc...

CO2
Recently started up the CO2 @ 1 bubble for 3 seconds in my 10g.

Lighting
I have 2x15w screw in self ballasted compact flourscent bulbs and also a 24" t5ho 6500k 24watt which I turn on only for part of the day. I am thinking of replacing the canopy with the 2x15w bulbs with the t5ho.

Ferts
In terms of dosing I only have flourish comprehensive which I add about 1ml 3x a week.
 

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Tell me that wood is burned, lol?

Anyway I'm with Cards
When I say hit it from all sides, shorten your light duration, change your water more, feed less, stock less and make sure your fertilizing enough to get healthy growth. If you can add some Amanos they will work through the BBA in the long-run.
However, if you're worried about the number of critters needed or going through the additional worries associated with ancillary tank maintenance you could just pick up a single SAE if they are readily accessible to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
More concerned with what's causing it than the living control of it....I don't mind the looks of it as long as I know how to control it and let it eventually die off. Could it just be that my HC mass isn't large enough to keep up with the light yet? Also, anything I can do with the light to decrease the amount of algae overall aside from decreasing the photo period? Single-lighting it isn't really an option since there's no individual controllers and I'd hate to run it with just one bulb. Raising it up some more, maybe or would the 8hr photo period really make that much of a difference?
 

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Tell me that wood is burned, lol?..
That was my first thought too.


More concerned with what's causing it than the living control of it....I don't mind the looks of it as long as I know how to control it and let it eventually die off. Could it just be that my HC mass isn't large enough to keep up with the light yet? Also, anything I can do with the light to decrease the amount of algae overall aside from decreasing the photo period? Single-lighting it isn't really an option since there's no individual controllers and I'd hate to run it with just one bulb. Raising it up some more, maybe or would the 8hr photo period really make that much of a difference?

I have always found visible BBA to be the result the relationship between the organic content in your water and the light levels you are running. So yeah it could be that your HC hasn't filled in yet or it will help raising your light, but usually if you hit it from multiple fronts it wins the battle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, I've no problem scraping my glass in the meantime while my HC grows in or letting my otos graze on it (the GDA/GSA). I do get a few pieces of BBA growing on the glass sometimes but it's not at an alarming rate. Light is already about 16" above the water surface as mentioned previously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Still looking for the initial solution instead of having to resort to blasting it with excel/peroxide over and over again. :( Photo period was changed to 8 hours today and my regulator is currently waiting for its 24 hour curing period of pipe sealant for solenoid/needle valve connections. Dosed ferts also.
 

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I would start by putting two layers of fiberglass window screen over the light, to act as a filter, reducing the light intensity by about 64%. Then I would put that light about a foot above the top of the tank, to get around 40 micromols of PAR at the substrate, and about 100 at the water surface.

Then start cleaning everything. The driftwood should be sprayed with H2O2 or Excel, out of the tank, and the resulting dead BBA scrubbed off with a stiff brush. The filter should be cleaned, all except the biomedia. Any BBA on any other part of the tank should be kllled with H2O2 or Excel and removed. Any plant leaves with BBA on them should be pruned away. The substrate should be vacuumed. Start with new water, treated with Prime or equivalent, and dosed with NPK and traces, etc. per EI.

With the reduced light, clean system, and new water, you might be able to avoid a new BBA outbreak, if you are also using CO2 at an optimum level, and have a good water surface ripple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Why the massive cleaning overhaul? And what does fiberglass window screen look like? That mesh stuff in screen doors? My substrate is very clean thanks to shrimps. None of my leaves have or have ever had BBA on them, just the rocks and occasionally the glass. Also, I'm using lily pipes. How can I get better surface agitation without it making the rather loud/annoying trickle noise? :( Also, just did a sweep of my aquarium. There appears to be a little bit of fuzz algae on some of the leaves and mainly a thin what looks like dusting of a slightly brownish algae....not sure what kind it is. I'll post pics if needed.
 
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